A survey has revealed that parents in the U.S. spend around nine hours per day on their phones, tablets, and computers while giving themselves a good mark on their children’s screen schedule. The studies were conducted by the nonprofit Common Sense Media group and Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development.

The findings of the study indicated that around 1800 of the parents surveyed have an average nine hours and 22 minutes of screen time a day, of which at least seven hours are for non-work related reasons. The study also determined they are aware and positive about technology’s role in their kids’ lives while being alert of the negative risk it might have in sleeping, vision health, privacy and cyberbullying.

78 percent of parents believed that they were modeling good online behavior for their children. Image credit: Beech Acres Parenting Center

“I found the numbers astounding, the sheer volume of technology used by parents. There’s really a big disconnect between their own behavior and their self-perception, as well as their perception of their kids,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, which has been working for 13 years for the right integration of technology into family routines and living.

It is all in the numbers

About their sons and daughters’ privacy, 67 percent of the surveyed parents indicated they preferred to monitor it rather than respect it. The Latinos and African American interviewed showed more concern than the Caucasian ones.

When it came to what parents worried about the most, the numbers revealed 43 percent worried about time spent, 38 percent were concerned because of the over-sharing of personal information and the exposure to porn videos, while violent imagery or videos got both the preoccupation of 36 percent of the parents.

The survey focused on parents of kids between the ages of 8 and 18. It took into account TV or other video viewings, video gaming, social networking, website browsing, and any other task conducted on a computer, smartphone or tablet. Media consumed with a child or another family member was also considered.

Along with the statistics came a series of recommendations from Common Sense Media and their experts. They recommended that kids have a good role model of media usage. Also, it is important to open up spaces throughout the week where phones are not allowed, like family meals, so children have to communicate face to face. It was also suggested to take part in their media development, asking questions and showing interest.

Overall, 94 percent of the parents surveyed agreed that technology is a great tool that comes with benefits for their children, their student life, and jobs opportunities.

Source: LA Times